The theme of friendship and loneliness plays a large role in laying out the story. It can be seen on varying levels from the start of the story. The harsh depression of the 1930's brought along with it a wave of fear, insecurity, instability as well as poverty. Conditions became rough, setting the race for itinerant jobs and forcing men to grow selfish and see other men as nothing more than competition. With this ideology in place it became almost impossible for the men to form any lasting relationships, or allowing themselves to get too close to any other individual. The lonely, isolated lives they led drove many of them to acts of aggression, attachment to other things which pose no threat, or they simply started thinking within a different mind frame to escape their dismal reality. This leads us to the 'American dream' in which various characters in the story prove that they find their escape from the harsh, uncaring world through these almost unachievable dreams.
The relationship between George and Lennie becomes a matter worth consideration, since it goes against most of the conditions in which other men were living. Unlike most, George and Lennie actually share a lasting relationship, which unravels through the story. The boundaries and type of the relationship unfolds gradually and it is difficult to identify a single bond that ties the two men together. However, without a doubt an element of friendship and unconditional caring is present within the relationship, a rare element during the time.
In chapter one an initial insight to this rare element can be seen:
"Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place....With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us."
Here it clearly states what the average man lives through – are the loneliest guys in the world – while also stating the...